Friday, July 30, 2010

Long Time No Post

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I posted to this blog.  So much has happened in the past 6 months that I'm not sure where to begin trying to catch up.  I've been working on starting up an in-home daycare business and am currently almost 37 weeks pregnant so between those two things and preparing Adilyn to start Kindergarten in 3 weeks I've been swamped and have hardly had time or energy to post to any of my blogs.  I have all my photos archived by date, though, so I should be able to post in chronological order, or at least I'll try.

So one thing that has been a big topic on this blog has been chickens.  I can now come clean and confess that we raised 3 laying hens in our urban yard for one year, and this May sent them to live at the farm (they are now going to be a part of a small flock that my dear friends are raising in the country).  Above is a picture of our girls as chicks: Anna, Zinnia and Sweet Pea.

We chose to raise the girls in the beginning because we truly believed that we were going to get the backing we needed to change the ordinance in Iowa City quickly and we'd be able to keep them legally. So many things seemed to go wrong and what we hoped would be a quick process turned into a long, drawn out and disappointing experience with local government.  I'm still a little scarred from the whole thing.  Regardless, we love having our own hens and our neighbors loved them as well.  This is where they lived until we enclosed the under side of our deck with lattice to create a larger run and safe place for them.
We were surprised by how attached we got to our girls and equally surprised by the positive responses our neighbors had to them.  We did talk to them before getting the chicks, but no one really knew what was in store.  It was definitely an experimental year for chicken raising.  One of our neighbors went as far as to say he would be willing to stand up and speak in front of city council in support of urban chickens if needed.  Wow!  That's so awesome :)  So this is a pic of our girl Sweet Pea which we lost in April or May, I think.  We don't really know what exactly happened, definitely wasn't predators or anything like that.  I just found her dead one morning.  I suspect she was eating rhubarb leaves which are poisonous, though we don't have any way to know for sure.  She is now in heaven squawking away and laying eggs for us ;)
Next is Miss ZinZin.  Zinnia was by far the most lovable of the girls.  She was very gentle and liked to be held, especially in the cold winter when I would go out and snuggle with her for a few minutes in the morning and just before bed.
And finally Anna.  Adilyn was able to hold Anna like a baby and she'd just lay there like that for several minutes, or until I would make Adi put her down.  She was a sweet girl too.  I understand that she is the more docile chicken on the farm while Zinnia has taken a more dominant and aggressive role which surprises me, but what do I know about chickens?
I find it particularly hard to buy eggs at the grocery store now.  I miss my chickens.  I miss their eggs.  I won't lie, though.  They can be a lot of work but I think with a well designed coop and care plan caring for 2 or 3 chickens is really no more challenging than a couple of indoor cats.  Really.

So now the effort to get chickens legalized in Iowa City from my perspective is somewhat on hold.  I enjoy watching and listening to what Cedar Rapids CLUC is doing, I feel like we can learn a whole lot from them.  I understand the ordinance in CR has passed but more work is yet to be done, I don't know the details but am so happy for them!!  I've met with someone in our community in hopes of passing the leadership reins on to her and she is excited to take on a lot of what I had been trying to do before my entire life took on some drastic changes.  I will help as much as I'm able and still believe that one day urban chickens will be a normal and legal part of life in Iowa City.

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